Closet Building, Inspiration Station, Uncategorized

Jan 3: Thrifted Professional Tops

While home for the holidays, I am happy to report that I found some professional tops at local Goodwill stores, so I can continue on my impromptu “thrifted professional wear” series with a small thrifting haul.

My first top is a black layered short-sleeve blouse. It’s a sweater vest base with a polyester bow neckline and blousy sleeves. I’m admittedly a huge sucker for blouses with bows at the neckline and tops with layered appearances – so this find was a definite treasure!

Speaking of tie and bow neck blouses it this steal! Small town Goodwills are exceptionally great for finding designer pieces at affordable prices. This top is Michael Kors – but I managed to snag it for a whopping $3 with no stains. In addition to this amazing deal, I love the opportunity for a pop of color. I have a pair of heels which feature a similar color, and I’d definitely pair them together!

Continuing with our designer brand steals (another $3 piece) is this Calvin Klein blouse is a nice neutral taupe. It’s a neutral color I don’t often find, so I was more than happy to put it in my cart! I look forward to pairing this with a patterned jacket or suit as a neutral top while more interesting than a basic white shirt.

Last, but certainly not least, it a black short-sleeved top. Featuring a peplum at the waist and an exposed statement gold zipper on the back, I can wait to pair this with either a slacks for work or a fitted skirt for a night out! This is also an ideal top for wearing a statement necklace!

That’s all for my Goodwill professional tops haul. I’m looking forward to sharing some professional outfit pairings (and maybe some more professional wear hauls..?) in the coming weeks!

❤ Zeebs

Uncategorized

Dec. 27: Thrifted Professional Wear from Phoenix

This week is a short post/haul on the professional wear I found in Phoenix before leaving (safely and with negative COVID test results) for the holidays. Using the tips from last week’s post, I had small – but very – successful trip to a Phoenix Goodwill.

My first step was to search the matching suit section, which was admittedly a bust. (There was a Calvin Klein suit, but it was a size smaller than what I normally wear and couldn’t try it on with COVID restrictions). So, in following my steps, I moved on to the dress section where I hit the jackpot with two gorgeous finds.

My first find was a Calvin Klein white professional dress. It hits at knee length and is made of a beautifully textured fabric. It passed the inspection(s) for flaws with flying colors – not surprising considering it was new with tags! This find was 12.99 before my student discount – but the retail price was $100!

white Calvin Klein dress

My second find is just as beautiful. It’s a classic professional “LBD.” It features a neckline that has a narrow v-neckline which leads to a slight “collar” effect on the sides. I love this neckline as a petite person because v-necks tend to be more flattering in giving an elongated look, but the shape of the neckline allows for the v-neck effect without being too low of a neckline. The classic black color, as mentioned in my last post, also lends itself to being easier to mix and match with other separates to give an appearance of a matching set!

The next section I hit was the blazer/jacket rack. This is where I found my last piece for this post – a long black blazer. This blazer hits at thigh length which looks especially fantastic with professional dresses. The classic color and long style help to make the use of separates a purposeful choice, rather than that I bought a bunch of separates from a thrift store. (Note there should be no shame in thrifting for separates to make your professional wardrobe, but law is a more “conservative” profession – so the more it looks like I have matching sets, the better off I’ll be.)

To top it all off, the blazer passed the fabric matching test with the black dress. The shades of black are almost identical – same with the stitching of the fabric itself. The lack of embellishments on the dresses also meant that I didn’t need to attempt to match the buttons on the jacket with any dress accents. What a keeper!

Thanks for stopping by this week. I’ve been hitting the Goodwills back home – so hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to show some more professional thrifted finds soon!

In the meantime – stay safe and healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Style Strategies

Dec. 20: Back with Guide to Thrifting Professional Wear

Hello! My finals are over and I am back home safely for the holiday season, so now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming! This week will be some of my tips to successfully thrift for professional clothing!

If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know I love to thrift any and every type of clothing. Professional wear included. Shopping for professional wear often requires more care and effort than shopping for your casual clothes – logical considering it takes more effort when buying professional gear new!

Tip one for shopping for professional gear is to start with the matching suit section. I start here because sometimes you can score a matching base before hitting the separates (which we will discuss more about in later steps). With professional wear, take EXTRA care to inspect the clothes. I sometimes go over pieces four or five times for imperfections. The last thing you want is for a coworker (or boss) to notice a flaw before you do!

Tip two is to hit the dress section. Do not underestimate the power of a professional dress. They are handy on hot days and can easily pair with a cardigan instead of a super professional blazer. Lucky finds can also be suitable for a date night, brunch, or cocktails.

Tip three is to head to the jackets and blazer section next. If you found a matching suit, you might skip this section altogether, but I find matching suits in my size, in a style I enjoy, a nice pattern, a nice color, and a comfortable fabric can be a Herculean task. When looking at the blazer section (assuming you didn’t find a suit), be sure to prioritize colors that are easy to match with other separates. Black is the most reliable color to shoot for, though a true navy and a charcoal grey are also easy to find in other separates. If you found professional dresses, don’t be afraid to pick a bolder colored contrasting jacket to pair with the dress, especially if it’s a more “casual” professional work environment! Don’t forget your garment inspections

Next: the bottoms. Take your matching suit(s) and/or blazer(s) with you, because it’s matching time. This is perhaps the step which takes the most effort. With your blazer or suit in tow, sift through the racks to find pants or skirts which match the fabric of your recent discoveries. You’ll want to do side-by-sides to compare fabrics – down to the very style the fabrics were woven. I also recommend avoiding bottoms which feature shiny visible buttons or embellishments. That only means there will be another element to match – and chances are they won’t match (otherwise they would’ve put it in the suit section).

Last: the cardigans and sweaters. Cardigans and sweaters are perhaps the easiest section. This means a higher likelihood for success. Placing this section last can give you a pick-me-up if your thrifting trip wasn’t a resounding success like you hoped. It’s also an opportunity to find some fun colors and patterns that would compliment any professional clothing you found earlier.

I didn’t mention shoes in this guide yet because I personally do not thrift for professional shoes – as they usually entail the shoes that you don’t wear a full sock with (pumps, flats, etc.). If you want to thrift for professional shoes, I highly recommend going for flats or wedges. I’ve looked at heels before while thrifting, and find a higher likelihood of the heels to be overall unstable or too high for a professional environment.

Looking into the future you’ll be seeing professional clothes I’ve found thrifting, and a look and a “haul” from clothes I received as gifts this holiday season!

❤ Zeebs